Discover real Italy and help with gardening and building projects in rural southern Italy



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We have a large plot of land in rural southern Italy and welcome volunteers to help with the gardening and ongoing projects we have.

    We are a friendly, married, young at heart couple who have built our own luxury Masseria for our retirement. We are by no means in the slippers brigade and are a lively couple who don't take life too seriously. We chose this part of the world because of our love of real Italian culture, food and wine. We love our food and grow much of our own produce from which Rick (the chef of the two of us), creates wonderful meals. We have two cats and 1 small rescue dog so you should be avid animal lovers as they are a definite part of our family.

    We are situated in a beautiful, rural location, with the house sitting on its own 9 acre hill with the most amazing 360 degree views across rolling countryside. The nearest city is Matera, which is famous for being the film location for Mel Gibsons Passion of the Christ. Matera became nominated as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1993 and is a 15 minute drive away. It's a city with lots of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and of course great shopping. Matera consists of the old town known as the Sassi where people have dwelled in caves for 9000 years. It's an amazing place particularly if you enjoy cultural experiences, history and architecture. There are jaw dropping landscapes if you enjoy painting or photography. Matera is European City for Culture 2019.

    We enjoy hosting volunteers and we've made some lovely friends through this site. We see it as a win/win on both sides. You help us with our projects which would take too long to complete; working together to keep on top of the maintenance of the plot. We welcome you as part of the family - where you will work hard but also have fun and laughter. Your afternoons and evenings will be your free time to do as you wish. You will be well fed on your work days. Our cooking style is modern, but using traditional home grown ingredients. Rick loves to prepare healthy meals. Vegetarians are welcome. We prefer hosting COUPLES over the age of 25 but will consider single volunteers if your skills match the tasks we are undertaking. We are both non smokers and do not welcome smokers - sorry!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You'll learn how we have moved from the race rat in the UK to an almost self sufficient life in the depths of Italy in a modern property built in the traditional way. We try and build as many Eco friendly resources as possible ..... Collecting and harvesting our own rain water; using solar energy for hot water and growing most of our own vegetables. We'll teach you as much as you wish to learn.

    You'll have the opportunity to visit and explore the second oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, where people have lived in caves for over 9000 years (and still do!). A rare opportunity not to be missed.

    Having both been professional employers and recruiters we are happy to discuss and give careers advice and guidance if you wish.

  • Help


    We have several acres of land and we need help with the upkeep of the grounds, gardens, veggie plots and new landscaping around the property. Volunteers should enough general gardening - particularly extensive weeding and pruning. The vegetable plot and fruit orchard requires continuous attention, including extending, preparing and planting out as well as general maintenance. In Autumn we pick the olives and generally plant new trees and shrubs.

    We have some eco-projects underway and there is always painting and oiling of outside furniture; pergolas and barns which has to be done every year. The tasks we do depends on the time of year and the weather. The list is endless and ever evolving!

    We generally host volunteers for one or two weeks at a time, although we do sometimes offer longer stays if we are in a busy period. Please do check with us what dates are available as we fill up very quickly and can only host one couple at a time.

    HOW TO GET OUR ATTENTION: We get a LOT of requests so thought we would share our side... We like just a few lines about why you would like to share our home having read our profile, what skills you have, what you'd like to learn. Writing about these things in your covering note shows you've read our profile to here! And please have a photo of just you/both of you, not a group of people at a party.....). We do not generally host single travellers.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, German, basic Italian

  • Accommodation


    You will be living in a private, new, self contained studio consisting of a room, bathroom (WC, shower, basin) and outside sitting area with seating. This area is totally private so that in your free time you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. The views and sunsets from here are stunning. If you are interested in painting, photography or wild life the landscapes are breath taking and provide perfect back drops for your creativity.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    On non work days we head into Matera and are happy to drop you off so you may explore and discover this beautiful city. Lots of churches, museums and guided tours if you are interested. Please note - the local town is not accessible on public transport and is too far to walk. You are of course free to go exploring on your days off. On free days you are responsible for your own food.

    For arrival arrangements - the closest airport is BARI. The closest bus or train terminal is MATERA. We will gladly pick you up from either the bus or train station in Matera.

    We offer private accommodation; breakfast; snacks and a main meal on work days. This will be served at lunchtime in keeping with the local way of life. In exchange we require approx 25-30 hours help per week. We are flexible with the hours but usually work 8am to 1pm so as to avoid the afternoon heat. The afternoons and evenings are your free time to explore the local area or simply to relax. On your last day we ask you to thoroughly clean your room.

    Ideal applicants would be 25-60 age bracket (active and fit) with a friendly, mature outlook on life who are seeking to find out and discover this fascinating part of southern Italy.

    This is not suitable for someone looking for a hectic night life! We are in an isolated location (yet only a 15 min drive into the city). It will appeal to anyone who likes gardening, landscaping, painting; art; culture; architecture; food; tranquility. The scenery around the house is stunning so if you are a painter or like meditation this is the place for you. Hopefully the pictures on the profile give you some idea of the rural location but we would be happy to supply more photos if you wish. A great location to learn about the real Italy!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day, 5 days a week

Workawayers Sara and Braden picking our olives
Workawayers Hannah and Simon enjoying shifting several tonnes of gravel
Celebrating a completed patio with great workawayers, Sara and Braden
One of our amazing views
The children!
Cave dwellings in the city of Matera
Ancient city of Matera .... 15 mins drive from us
View from one of the terraces
Fruit orchard and vegetable plots
Fruit orchard
Vegetable plots
ploughing the orchard
Local farmer ploughing our land
One of the spectacular views
One of the many flower beds
Front courtyard

Host ref number: 696956669825